S U S TA I NA B LE
  LANDSCAPE FOR
AFFORDABLE HOUSING
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Sustainable Landscape
for Affordable Housing


   Great River Greening




       Contibutors:
       To d d R e x i n e
 ...
GREAT RIVER GREENING
Great River Greening is a nonprofit conservation organization that leads
and promotes community-based ...
Table of Contents
Executive Summary                                         1

Introduction                               ...
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
This guide is funded as part of the 2006-2008 Sustainable
Landscape for Affordable Housing program, which...
S U S TA I N A B L E
LANDSCAPE FOR
AFFORDABLE
HOUSING


                       EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
 OUR MISSION           As...
Ecological landscape design and urban forestry also can make a world of difference for the people
who will live in the aff...
States Botanic Garden, and a diverse group                 Many VOCs are human-made chemicals
of national stakeholder orga...
design. However their use of unsustainable,         SUSTAINABLE LANDSCAPE
mundane landscaping does little to overcome
a co...
Low-mow Lawn                                      Soil Amendments




Low-mow lawn                                        ...
Permeable Pavements                          Rain Barrels/Cisterns




Porous and Permeable Pavements                 Rain...
Vegetated Swales                                   Green Roofs




Vegetated Swales                                    Roo...
LESSONS LEARNED                                     CONCLUSION
Build partnerships. Working in partnership          Sustain...
MINNEAPOLIS, MN
S U S TA I N A B L E
LANDSCAPE FOR
AFFORDABLE
HOUSING
                          Park Avenue Apartments
PRO...
DESIGN                                              The plan also proposed the installation of a
The guiding idea behind t...
PROJECT SITE PLAN                                    North



                                                     Native ...
•   Youth Vandalism.                               CONTACT INFORMATION
     Over the course of a weekend several
     tree...
MINNEAPOLIS, MN
S U S TA I N A B L E
LANDSCAPE FOR
AFFORDABLE
HOUSING
                           Emerson Avenue Apartments...
DESIGN
With a site that is completely built out and            Additionally all turf areas as well as a portion
located on...
PROJECT SITE PLAN
                                                 North
                                    21st Ave N

 ...
LESSONS LEARNED                                    CONTACT INFORMATION
 •   After the project was completed, the          ...
STILLWATER, MN
S U S TA I N A B L E
LANDSCAPE FOR
AFFORDABLE
HOUSING
                            Orleans Homes
PROJECT TEA...
• Create usable outdoor spaces for daily living.
• Use trees and plants materials to create
  space, provide shade, captur...
At the two southern most entrances, examples
                                                   of permeable paver systems...
LESSONS LEARNED                                      CONTACT INFORMATION
 •   The goal for the prairie restoration was    ...
BRAINERD, MN
S U S TA I N A B L E
LANDSCAPE FOR
AFFORDABLE
HOUSING
                          College Drive Townhouses
PROJ...
DESIGN                                                   CHALLENGES
Project partners walked the site and discussed        ...
PROJECT SITE PLAN
                                                                     North
         Rain Gardens
       ...
•   Landscape Contractors
     When collecting bids for the installation
                                                 ...
OTHER PUBLICATIONS




Shaw, Dan, and Rusty Schmidt. Plants for Stormwater            Shaw, Dan. Designing with Minnesota ...
OTHER RESOURCES
Publications and Websites

American Society of Landscape Architects.             Managing Stormwater: Best...
Water from Trouble to Treasure                              Watershed Districts
http://www.cnt.org/repository/Water_bookle...
South Washington Watershed District                         Lower Rum Watershed Management Organization
www.swwdmn.org    ...
Sustainable Landscaping for Affordable Housing
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Sustainable Landscaping for Affordable Housing

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Forthcoming publication on sustainable landscape practices for affordable housing with four case studies.

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Transcript of "Sustainable Landscaping for Affordable Housing"

  1. 1. S U S TA I NA B LE LANDSCAPE FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING
  2. 2. a;sldhfklajdfh
  3. 3. Sustainable Landscape for Affordable Housing Great River Greening Contibutors: To d d R e x i n e Deborah Karasov January 2010
  4. 4. GREAT RIVER GREENING Great River Greening is a nonprofit conservation organization that leads and promotes community-based restoration of natural areas and open spaces. Our team of experienced ecologists and landscape ecologists brings over 50 years combined experience managing and restoring native habitats, designing and installing designs that improve the ecosystem services of a site, conducting natural resource inventories, fundraising for restoration projects on public lands, and engaging over 21,000 volunteers.. The staff at Great River Greening hopes you find the information in this guidebook helpful and that it will inspire you to incorporate sustainable landscape practices in your developments or properties. We plan to update the information in this booklet and welcome your comments and suggestions. You may contact us at: www.greatrivergreening.org Great River Greening 35 West Water street, Suite 201 Saint Paul, MN 55107 Phone at 651.665.9500 Fax at 651.665.9409
  5. 5. Table of Contents Executive Summary 1 Introduction 1 Definition of Terms 2 Connection between the Landscape and Affordable Housing 2 Sustainable Landscape Practices 3 Lessons Learned 7 Conclusion 7 Case Studies Park Avenue 9 Emerson Avenue 13 Orleans Homes 17 College Drive Townhouses 21 Other Publications 25 Other Resources Publications and Websites 26 Soil and Water Conservation Districts 27 Watershed Districts 27 Twin City Watershed Management Organizations 28
  6. 6. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This guide is funded as part of the 2006-2008 Sustainable Landscape for Affordable Housing program, which was made possible through funding by the Home Depot Foundation. About The Home Depot Foundation The Home Depot Foundation was created in 2002 to further the community building goals of The Home Depot. The Home Depot Foundation is dedicated to building homes for working families that are healthy to live in and affordable to own. To make homes healthy and affordable, the Foundation encourages developers to incorporate responsible design and use durable and quality materials to ensure that homes are more energy and water efficient, have good indoor air quality, and provide a safe and healthy space to live. Since its formation, The Home Depot Foundation has granted $70 million to nonprofit organizations and supported the development of more than 50,000 affordable, healthy homes. For more information, visit www. homedepotfoundation.org.
  7. 7. S U S TA I N A B L E LANDSCAPE FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING EXECUTIVE SUMMARY OUR MISSION As part of our educational goals at Great River Greening, we have developed this document for designers, developers, property managers, Great River landscapers, and the general public to demonstrate how sustainable landscape planning can be effectively combined with affordable housing. This document provides information on sustainable practices as well Greening as examples of how they have been incorporated in several case study examples. leads and There tends to be a disconnect with the landscape planning as it is related to affordable housing units and complexes. The landscape inspires becomes an afterthought and is usually just composed of a grass lawn and some foundation shrubs. Through case studies, alternatives to this community- form of landscaping were explored and installed. These sustainable landscape practices tend to cost less in the long run as compared to the maintenance associated with turf grass maintenance. Sustainable based landscape practices are a cost-efficient way to benefit air and water quality because they eliminate the need for fertilizer, pesticides, watering, restoration and extensive lawn maintenance. of natural areas INTRODUCTION All housing projects, no matter how small, have a responsibility beyond and simply meeting the needs of their users. They have a public responsibility to add to and enhance the neighborhoods and larger landscape in which open spaces they are built. This is why urban forests and sustainable landscape design are so critical. Tree canopy, bird and butterfly habitat, proper stormwater management, utility buffering, and aesthetic impact are all issues that go beyond a single site. In affordable housing specifically, positive ecological and aesthetic impacts are critical to a project’s long term success. An affordable housing project can be resisted by the community every step of the way, or welcomed. It can be a problem that gets progressively worse, or an asset for its neighborhood for decades. It can be a constant source of discomfort and resentment for everyone who lives in and around it. Or it can provide the people who live there with everything we all expect from our home: comfort, health, efficiency, security, beauty, and grace. 1
  8. 8. Ecological landscape design and urban forestry also can make a world of difference for the people who will live in the affordable housing, and for the neighborhood surrounding it. It is part of the solution to deteriorating water quality. And yet within affordable housing circles, landscape design is rarely mentioned beyond the provision of play space for children. Good architectural design is itself barely making inroads in affordable housing projects, but there are at least advocates for that issue. PROGRAM UNIQUENESS preventing that much runoff from entering storm Since we started this initiative, we have seen sewers and saving an estimated $35 million added programs related to affordable housing annually in stormwater management costs and sustainability, but none of them replicate alone. Urban trees in the Chicago area filter an our objectives. The Conservation Fund has estimated 6,000 tons of air pollutants annually, completed several profiles of affordable housing providing $9.2 million in benefits. Similarly, and conservation developments on the east the Street Edge Alternatives (SEA Streets) coast. However, all of those developments project in Seattle, designed to replicate natural incorporate major conservations easements or landscapes, retains 98 percent of stormwater land trusts—clearly a distinct tool with separate runoff during the wet season (4.7 times more land management protocols and financing. than a conventional street) (The Sustainable None of the examples feature sustainable site Sites Initiative, American Society of Landscape design. State Green programs, like Minnesota Architects.) Green Communities, have also increased. However, the Minnesota Green Communities Studies also show that healthy and attractive projects feature primarily architectural environments contribute to human well-being, innovations. Those examples that do have such as better mental and emotional health, landscape features simply incorporate small reduced stress response, higher mental rain gardens. function and productivity, community cohesion and resilience, and increased safety and In none of these instances, are the sustainable security. sites modeled after healthy systems, thereby increasing the ecosystem services provided The U.S. Green Building Council, author by these landscapes. Water on the site can of the LEED® (Leadership in Energy and be managed to imitate natural water cycling, Environmental Design) Green Building vegetation can be used strategically to cool Rating Systems, also demonstrates how the area and filter water, and soils can be slow the industry has been to adopt restored to support healthy vegetation and filter sustainable landscaping. First developed pollutants. in 1998, the Council is now agreeing to consider new standards and guidelines Research has attempted to determine the value for sustainable landscapes (a draft report of these ecosystem services in dollars. For just released), produced by the American instance, New York City trees intercept almost Society of Landscape Architects, the Lady 890 million gallons of rainwater each year, Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, the United Great River Greening 35 W. Water Street # 201 restoring the land, Saint Paul, MN 55107 www.greatrivergreening.org 651.665.9500 2 renewing communities
  9. 9. States Botanic Garden, and a diverse group Many VOCs are human-made chemicals of national stakeholder organizations. These that are used and produced in the draft guidelines will be incorporated into the manufacture of paints, pharmaceuticals, and documentation of the case studies proposed refrigerants. (www.epa.gov) here. DEFINITION OF TERMS CONNECTION BETWEEN THE Nonpoint Source Pollution LANDSCAPE AND AFFORDABLE Water pollution affecting a water body from HOUSING multiple sources. Ecological landscape design and urban forestry Sustainable Design are partial solutions to both deteriorating water The process of analyzing site conditions resources and environmental deficiencies in and matching appropriate environmental affordable housing. solutions while putting the site in context of the global landscape and creating the least In terms of water resources, sustainable or impact on the environment. native landscaping is becoming ever more critical as our water resources deteriorate. Sustainable Design utilizes principles such According to the U.S. Environmental Protection as sustainable/renewable materials, low Agency, the leading cause of source water energy solutions, alternative stormwater degradation is nonpoint source pollution, treatment, native plant communities, and and urban runoff is the fastest growing wildlife considerations. threat nationwide. Even the government has encouraged the use of native plantings in Urban Forestry landscaping on Federal land and in Federally The care and management of tree funded projects. The U.S. Environmental populations in an urban setting for Protection Agency in Chicago has formed a the purpose of improving the urban Natural Landscaping Workgroup dedicated to environment. promoting the use of native landscaping as a way to improve water and air quality. Urban Heat Island Effect When a metropolitan area is significantly In terms of aesthetics, ecological design warmer than the surrounding rural that sustains its beauty also adds assets landscape. The temperature gradient is to a community and helps to overcome more noticeable at night when surfaces resistance to affordable housing. Certainly begin to cool off and radiate heat back providers of affordable housing are beginning into the atmosphere. The main cause is to make architectural advances in building by modifications to the landscape through urban development. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) VOC’s are compounds that have a high vapor pressure and low water solubility. Great River Greening 35 W. Water Street # 201 restoring the land, Saint Paul, MN 55107 www.greatrivergreening.org 651.665.9500 3 renewing communities
  10. 10. design. However their use of unsustainable, SUSTAINABLE LANDSCAPE mundane landscaping does little to overcome a community’s perception that such PRACTICES developments are unattractive or barren. Great River Greening is one of the first to Native Plantings bring these two issues together (aesthetics of affordable housing and water resources conservation) as part of its Greening for Clean Air and Water program, in which we create demonstrations or case studies in various sectors of development. We chose these case studies based on need and potential to make a difference. We use case studies to raise the standards, promote awareness, and nurture educated decision makers for the industry at large. The specific outcomes for our proposed case studies are to: a) demonstrate the economic feasibility of using native landscaping successfully in the region, b) create sustainable, healthy, and culturally responsive models of landscape design for affordable housing; c) monitor the cost-reducing potential of these practices; and d) be a education Native Plantings demonstration for others. The use of plant species that are indigenous to a specific geographic region. Native plants We should also add that a secondary benefit have evolved to the local climate, water, and of ecological design is improved air quality. soil conditions of a region. Ozone reduction initiatives in other parts of the Midwest have established that every thousand Benefits: acres of lawn converted to native landscaping • Lower maintenance cost after reduces VOC emissions by approximately establishment 50 tons per year. This case also shows • Requires little or no irrigation after plants that, among the full menu of possible ozone are established reduction measures, native landscaping has • Requires little or no fertilizer, herbicides or one of the highest benefit-cost returns. pesticides • Deep-rooted • Provides habitat for birds, butterflies, and other wildlife species Great River Greening 35 W. Water Street # 201 restoring the land, Saint Paul, MN 55107 www.greatrivergreening.org 651.665.9500 4 renewing communities
  11. 11. Low-mow Lawn Soil Amendments Low-mow lawn Soil Amendments An alternative to standard turf lawn grass Urban soils are typically compacted with using alternative grass species which require minimal water and nutrient-holding capacity. less maintenance. Good for low-use areas Mixing in soil amendments such as compost in the landscape where a lawn-like look is adds nutrients back into and loosens up desired. compacted soils. Soil amendments should be mixed into the top two - four inches of soil. Benefits: • Requires mowing only 2-3 times per year Benefits: • Mow to only 4” • Greater water holding capacity (sand soils) • Minimal watering (only during dry periods) • Improved aeration and drainage • Fertilizer not recommended or needed • Healthier plants and root systems • Less fertilizer and pesticide use Tree Placement Tree Sighting Proper shade tree location helps shade buildings in the summer, which helps in passive heating and cooling. Typically the south and southwest sides of a building experience the most intense heat from the sun. Benefits: • Possible reduction in heating and cooling costs if sited appropriately • Possible reduction in urban heat island effect • Provides habitat for birds and other wildlife • Improves air quality Great River Greening 35 W. Water Street # 201 restoring the land, Saint Paul, MN 55107 www.greatrivergreening.org 651.665.9500 5 renewing communities
  12. 12. Permeable Pavements Rain Barrels/Cisterns Porous and Permeable Pavements Rain Barrels/Cisterns A pavement system that allows stormwater A container placed at the end of a downspout runoff to penetrate the surface and filter system to collect and store stormwater runoff through an aggregate base material and for future use in the landscape. infiltrate into the soil. Benefits: Benefits: • Reduces the reliance on the municipal • Reduces the rate and quantity of runoff water supply for watering • Recharges groundwater • Does not contain any added chemicals • Filters pollutants, debris, and silt from mechanical filtering and treatment • Reduces urban heat island effect by • Can be linked in chain to provide more allowing air to flow through void space of capacity surface and base material Rain Gardens (Bioretention) A depression in the landscape typically located near the source of runoff, rain gardens intercept runoff from smaller rain events and Rain Gardens filter and infiltrate the water. Benefits: • Infiltrates and filters stormwater • Reduces the rate and quantity of runoff • Provides habitat for birds, butterflies and other wildlife species Great River Greening 35 W. Water Street # 201 restoring the land, Saint Paul, MN 55107 www.greatrivergreening.org 651.665.9500 6 renewing communities
  13. 13. Vegetated Swales Green Roofs Vegetated Swales Roof-Top Gardens/Green Roofs Shallow trench with plants used to slow the A green roof is a roof that is covered or speed of runoff and allow stormwater to partially covered with vegetation. Care should infiltrate into the ground instead of flowing be taken that the structure is able to hold the directly to storm sewers. extra weight load of the soils. Benefits: Benefits: • Filters silt, pollutants and debris • Reduces the rate and quantity of runoff • Reduces rate and quantity of stormwater • Reduction on urban heat island effect entering sewer system • Increased insulation for heating and • Recharges groundwater cooling • Reduces storm sewer piping and • Provides habitat for birds, butterflies and structures other wildlife species • Can reduce detention pond requirements • Provides habitat for birds, butterflies and other wildlife species Roof Leader Disconnection This is appropriate in buildings where Roof Leader Disconnection stormwater is collected on the roof and directed to a down spout and directly into the storm sewer. Benefits: • Reduces rate and quantity of stormwater entering sewer system • Recharges groundwater • Can reduce detention pond requirements Great River Greening 35 W. Water Street # 201 restoring the land, Saint Paul, MN 55107 www.greatrivergreening.org 651.665.9500 7 renewing communities
  14. 14. LESSONS LEARNED CONCLUSION Build partnerships. Working in partnership Sustainable landscapes can be integrated into on a project with other organizations, the affordable housing fabric. No longer do we municipalities, and firms helps gain a stronger have to rely on worn-out turf lawns that get little acceptance of the project in the community, as to no attention to maintenance. By looking at well as of the goals of the project. This can go the landscape from a sustainability aspect it a long way towards educating others involved in becomes connected to the onsite building(s) the process and the community to the benefits as well as the larger surrounding region. The of the improvements being proposed and whole site does not need to undergo a complete installed. transformation, just the implementation one or two practices can go a long way to helping Be flexible and creative. No matter how good improve the quality of the local environment. the intentions of the design are they may not meet the needs of the site or municipal codes. This can require working directly with property owners or the local municipality to come up with a creative solution that meets the original needs as well as that of the site and zoning codes. A better product will result, one that is more functional and accepted. Choose the project carefully. A lot of time can be expended chasing after projects that don’t come to fruition. This comes down to knowing the area and the players involved so projects are not proposed where they are not going to be accepted or don’t have funding in place to support the end product. Involve volunteers. Engaging the local community in the installation process will help educate the community on what is being done as well as gain support for the project. Volunteers--especially any local master gardeners--can also be a good way to help keep an eye on maintenance issues on the site. Also engage the residents, who by being involved, gain a new appreciation for the place they live and can also help with watering and spot weeding as the landscape matures. Great River Greening 35 W. Water Street # 201 restoring the land, Saint Paul, MN 55107 www.greatrivergreening.org 651.665.9500 8 renewing communities
  15. 15. MINNEAPOLIS, MN S U S TA I N A B L E LANDSCAPE FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING Park Avenue Apartments PROJECT TEAM: • Great River Greening SITE • Urban Homeworks DESCRIPTION FUNDING The building consists PARTNERS: of 4 three-bedroom • The Home Depot low-income units Foundation on two floors. The • Hennepin lot is a moderately Conservation District • Minnehaha Creek sized 1/4-acre urban Watershed District site. Approximately • Urban Homeworks 1/3 of the site was impermeable surface SITE AREA: and 2/3 turf grass. • 1/4-acre urban lot 100% of the paved and Front yard after planting event June 2008 building surface drained directly to PROJECT SCOPE: the street with no treatment through a down-spout outlet to the driveway. • 4 three-bedroom low- The site is located on a busy northbound thoroughfare with several bus income unit building lines within walking distance. on an urban lot. SUSTAINABLE OBJECTIVES PRACTICES: • Create usable outdoor spaces for the residents. • Native Planting • Create outdoor spaces that residents can occupy and that bring • Turf Conversion • Rain Garden residents together as neighbors in an environment that feels and is • Permeable Patio safe. • Tree Placement • Use a simple palette of native plants that is easily maintained and provides a clear design intent. COST: • Use a native plant palette that integrates into the urban fabric. • Installation • Use native plant materials to reduce energy by: (a) Locating trees to $22,500 • Yearly Maintenance reduce summer cooling costs and improve indoor outdoor comfort; After Establishment (b) Locating trees so that winter heating costs are not increased. $1,000 (approx) • Use native plant material to reduce stormwater impacts to urban watershed to include: (a) Installation of a rain garden to capture and treat runoff from building; (b) Infiltration techniques to capture water flowing from turf areas prior to leaving site. • Onsite infiltration techniques. • Reduce stormwater utility fees from City of Minneapolis. • Ensure that this site is not contributing to larger stormwater problems (erosion, flooding, etc.). • Engage volunteers and youth. 9
  16. 16. DESIGN The plan also proposed the installation of a The guiding idea behind the design is to permeable unit paver patio using “off the shelf” capture and treat as much stormwater on site pavers, demonstrating stormwater treatment while creating a working model of a sustainable and residential amenities using affordable landscape in the city. In addition to treating materials available to any homeowner. The stormwater on site, other goals are to reduce pavers used were a combination of standard pollution, energy use, and water use required to 4”x8” and 43/4”x6” sizes. The pavers were laid maintain turf grass. in two different patterns to create openings to let water percolate down into the soil. The Great River Greening proposed a stormwater spaces were filled with a small angular granite system that relies on the current building outlet (a material that will let water reach the soil.) being captured in a basin and routed through drain tile into a rain garden as part of the With all the multiple practices being installed redesigned backyard. The rain garden area it was also important to keep some areas was sized to capture and treat a minimum of turf for active use by the residents. This was the first 1.5” of stormwater. Due to the sandy accomplished in both the front and backyard. soils on site, this was not a problem. The rain garden was planted with a variety of native plants and grasses that would give year-round interest to the area. Permeable paver patio installation Rain garden planting with volunteers Trees were planted in rows across the front and back of the properties to help shade the building during the summer. In areas where turf was hard to manage, native plantings were installed. This includes a native grass planting on the south and west slopes of the property, as well as along the north property line. Volunteers planting native grass planting Great River Greening 35 W. Water Street # 201 restoring the land, Saint Paul, MN 55107 www.greatrivergreening.org 651.665.9500 10 renewing communities
  17. 17. PROJECT SITE PLAN North Native Planting Rain Garden Permeable Patio Native Grass Planting Stone Infiltration Trench CHALLENGES • Current Zoning Codes. By installing a full-scale landscape retrofit • Storing Installation Materials. the plan had to go through the City of All material had to be stored onsite while Minneapolis Planning and Zoning. This the installation was progressing. Because triggered having to update the site to of the limited amount of on-street parking, comply with current zoning codes. The all material if placed in the street had to main issue was the non-conforming single be moved by the end of the day. This car driveway on the north side of the required working closely with suppliers building. Compliance required either one and letting them know the constraints of stall per unit or that all parking needed to the site. Deliveries were made early in the be on the street. To lessen the need for morning so volunteers and staff had the additional impervious surface, the solution day to move material into place. was to remove the driveway, grade out the land, and plant the area with native vegetation. Great River Greening 35 W. Water Street # 201 restoring the land, Saint Paul, MN 55107 www.greatrivergreening.org 651.665.9500 11 renewing communities
  18. 18. • Youth Vandalism. CONTACT INFORMATION Over the course of a weekend several trees were snapped off. Staff and Great River Greening supervisors continued to engage and Wayne Ostlie - Conservation Director educate the youth over the last couple 35 West Water Street, Suite 201 days of the installation, despite the tree Saint Paul, MN 55107 damage, so they would have a better 651.665.9500 understanding of the project as well as be wostlie@greatrivergreening.org invested in the property. www.greatrivergreening.org • Post-Planting Follow-up. Additional funding and volunteers were needed to replant the slope on the south and west of the property due to a crab grass infestation. After the replanting a local master gardener volunteered to check in on the site once a week to weed and water, as well as keep Urban Homeworks informed of any problems with plants. LESSONS LEARNED • It is vital to educate the property managers on watering newly established plants and the need for ongoing maintenance until plants establish. • Planning review process by the city can be costly and timely without any prior knowledge of the process or acceptable conditions. The city planning and zoning department was helpful in giving advice on what needed to be changed and how to go about it. • Plans may need to be altered to accomodate youth. This might mean installing the project in phases so the whole landscape is not transformed immediately. Great River Greening 35 W. Water Street # 201 restoring the land, Saint Paul, MN 55107 www.greatrivergreening.org 651.665.9500 12 renewing communities
  19. 19. MINNEAPOLIS, MN S U S TA I N A B L E LANDSCAPE FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING Emerson Avenue Apartments PROJECT TEAM: • Great River Greening SITE • Urban Homeworks DESCRIPTION FUNDING The property dates to PARTNERS: the early half of the • The HomeDepot century, when like Foundation all developments of • Hennepin County the time, stormwater • Christ Presbyterian flowed directly into Church the storm sewer and the Mississippi River, SITE AREA: • Small Urban Lot approximately one 1/5 acre mile away to the East. For this reason the PROJECT SCOPE: site still caused the • 12 unit low-income rapid movement of stormwater with very limited to no pretreatment or building on an urban infiltration. The site contained almost 100% impervious surface with a lot. 1 efficiency unit, few limited areas of sloped turf grass on clay soils. 5 one-bedroom units, and 6 two-bedroom units. OBJECTIVES SUSTAINABLE • Reduce impact of stormwater run off on the local municipality. PRACTICES: - Create spaces for stormwater to infiltrate. • Native Planting - Reduce amount of impervious surface on site. • Rain Garden - Reduce stormwater utility fees from the city of Minneapolis. • Permeable Parking • Use native plant materials to reduce energy. • Tree Placement - Locate trees to reduce summer cooling costs and improve indoor/ COSTS: outdoor comfort. • Installation - Locate trees so that winter heating costs are not increased. $50,000 • Create a usable outdoor space for residents. • Yearly Maintenance - Spaces that residents can occupy and that bring residents together After Establishment $1,000 (approx..) as neighbors in an environment that feels and is safe. • Use a native plant palette that integrates into the urban fabric • Engage volunteers and youth. 13
  20. 20. DESIGN With a site that is completely built out and Additionally all turf areas as well as a portion located on compacted urban clay soils, the of the existing parking lot (broken up) were approach to the design was to reduce as planted with native plants. By adding deep- much of the impervious surface as possible, rooted native vegetation to the site the root promoting infiltration or filtration of stormwater structures will begin to break up the soils wherever possible. Inevitably filtration still overtime with root channels, thus improving the allows stormwater to flow to the storm sewer; infiltration rate on the site. yet for this particular site it is a viable option as the infiltration rate into the soil is quite low. The final design utilized various sustainable Filtration on this site allows the water to be landscape practices to aid in stormwater filtered and cleansed, as well as postponing the mitigation, reduction in pollution and water use flow to the storm sewer. associated with lawn maintenance, and provide for energy reduction. The plan called for a permeable parking area, rain garden adjacent to the parking lot, and an elevated planting terrace containing native vegetation. Rear paver patio Site just after initial excavation Rain garden adjacent to Permeable parking area Great River Greening 35 W. Water Street # 201 restoring the land, Saint Paul, MN 55107 www.greatrivergreening.org 651.665.9500 14 renewing communities
  21. 21. PROJECT SITE PLAN North 21st Ave N Rain Garden Native Planting Residence Emerson Avenue N Permeable Paver Paver Native Native Parking Area Patio Planting Planting CHALLENGES • Clay Soils • Current Zoning Codes A percolation test on the existing sites By installing a full-scale landscape soils suggested that some modifications retrofit the plan had to go through the to the original concept and site goals were City of Minneapolis Planning and Zoning. required. The percolation test resulted in Working closely with the city’s planning less than a 1/8 of an inch of percolation and zoning staff ensured that the finished per hour. This can be attributed to the site plan met with the city’s current site’s compacted clay soils. The low stormwater plan. The city engineer was percolation number meant the site was not open to discussing possible solutions to able to infiltrate as much water, and the areas that needed to be addressed. The design had to compensate with a system main issues had to do with site run-off of both infiltration and filtration. The area from stormwater, capturing some while where the rain garden was to be located slowing down the rest before it enters the required a full excavation, with amended city storm sewer system. soil brought in. For the permeable paver parking area, a deeper excavation for • Storing Equipment and Supplies base material allows for longer holding With the amount of excavation required to time matching up with the rain garden transform the site, storage onsite became excavation. an issue. A rental storage unit was kept in the street. This allowed for secure storage for the duration of the project. Great River Greening 35 W. Water Street # 201 restoring the land, Saint Paul, MN 55107 www.greatrivergreening.org 651.665.9500 15 renewing communities
  22. 22. LESSONS LEARNED CONTACT INFORMATION • After the project was completed, the Great River Greening property manager noticed the retaining Wayne Ostlie - Conservation Director wall had started to attract a large amount 35 West Water Street, Suite 201 of people loitering on the wall. The Saint Paul, MN 55107 property owner decided to install a low 651.665.9500 18” black wrought-iron ornamental fence wostlie@greatrivergreening.org attached to the top of the wall to deter www.greatrivergreening.org loitering. • Learning from previous projects about the challenge of initial watering, the team discussed up-front how to deal with this need. A soaker hose was installed in the mulch, turned on by the property manager at the hose bib to help with watering through the first year of establishment. Once the plants were established the hose was pulled out of the mulch and used on future projects. Great River Greening 35 W. Water Street # 201 restoring the land, Saint Paul, MN 55107 www.greatrivergreening.org 651.665.9500 16 renewing communities
  23. 23. STILLWATER, MN S U S TA I N A B L E LANDSCAPE FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING Orleans Homes PROJECT TEAM: • Great River Greening • MN Brokerage Group FUNDING PARTNERS: • The HomeDepot Foundation • MN Brokerage Group • Bush Foundation • MN Pollution Control Agency • Brown’s Creek Watershed District SITE AREA: • 10 acre site PROJECT SCOPE: • 124 units, combination of 1, 2, & 3 bedroom units. 75% of the units Rain garden planting are below 60% of the SITE DESCRIPTION Twin Cities median Since being developed in 1987 the 10-acre site had received few income. updates since construction. All sidewalks, parking stalls and drive SUSTAINABLE lanes were constructed in a manner so all stormwater flowed off site to PRACTICES: the adjacent collector streets and municipal storm sewer. The current • Native Planting owner is committed to performing updates on the site in order to improve • Permeable Pavers the quality of life for residents, as well as providing ecological and • Rain Gardens stormwater benefits to the site. • Tree Placement • Prairie Restoration COSTS: OBJECTIVES • Installation • Retrofit on-site infiltration practices. Attempt to capture as much $81,000 as possible from 1 1/2 inch storm events from building surfaces and • Yearly Maintenance After Establishment paved surfaces in a cost-effective and sustainable manner. $1,500 (approx.) • Provide parking lot alternatives. Owner plans to add 20 parking spaces while also providing additional stormwater infiltration. Additional spaces should be designed so that stormwater is kept within new infiltration areas. • Focus on the use of native plant materials as a means to provide ecological and hydrological benefit. Create positive outdoor spaces, and provide a relationship between the site and its context. • Create shared community spaces. 17
  24. 24. • Create usable outdoor spaces for daily living. • Use trees and plants materials to create space, provide shade, capture and treat stormwater, and define community focal points. • Provide aesthetically pleasing places for residents. • Commit to low-maintenance landscapes after establishment. • Relate design to ecological context. • Work as project partners with residents, owners, and agencies to design, maintain, and fund a model project. • Engage volunteers and youth with the Volunteers planting a rain garden installation of the project to provide education permeable sandy soils on site the rain gardens of sustainable design and practices. were sized to receive a 2.25 inch storm event. A simple plant palette for all the rain gardens DESIGN was created to aid in plant identification when doing maintenance for the gardens. For Orleans Homes, an overall concept design was created for the site denoting specific areas where stormwater Best Management Practices could be implemented as well as restoration planting areas. Individual site-specific designs were then drawn up for those areas that the property owner wished to move forward with at this time. The main design calls out areas where there is the possibility of infiltrating water through rain gardens, shrub and tree trenches, or permeable pavement. For the rain gardens, watershed areas were delineated to calculate the amount of water flowing to the rain garden area. With the highly Permeable paver patio Bottle Gentian Blue Flag Iris Prairie Smoke Blue Grama Great River Greening 35 W. Water Street # 201 restoring the land, Saint Paul, MN 55107 www.greatrivergreening.org 651.665.9500 18 renewing communities
  25. 25. At the two southern most entrances, examples of permeable paver systems were installed Woodland Planting adjacent to rain gardens. One of the installations was a patio area and the other replaced the parking stalls in the parking lot. The patio utilized conventional pavers laid in a pattern to create a permeable surface, while the Rain Garden parking stalls utilized permeable unit pavers. Trees were also planted on site as part of the installation, sited along edges of parking lots and around the structures. When mature, the trees will help shade buildings and parking areas. This in turn will help cool some of the parking lots and residences. Prairie Restoration CHALLENGES • Watering of newly installed plants and seed • Transition of Site Maintenance Prairie After seeding the prairie and installing Rain Gardens Restoration plants, shrubs, and trees in rain garden areas, their watering became the responsibility of property managers. Without guidance, the plants were over- watered and the prairie was erroneously watered. Subsequently Greening learned to work with and educate the property managers as to the needs of the plantings. • Transition of Site Maintenance During the first year of establishment of Rain Gardens & rain gardens a system was in place to use Permeable volunteers to help weed all planted areas. Paver Patio The transition to property maintenance to continue with weeding and remulching faltered as the property managers assumed that the planting areas required no further maintenance. This required educating property staff that even low- Rain Gardens maintenance landscaping does require Permeable Paver Parking stalls some periodic maintenance. Great River Greening 35 W. Water Street # 201 restoring the land, Saint Paul, MN 55107 www.greatrivergreening.org 651.665.9500 19 renewing communities
  26. 26. LESSONS LEARNED CONTACT INFORMATION • The goal for the prairie restoration was Great River Greening for the property managers to work with Wayne Ostlie - Conservation Director the lawn maintenance company to 35 West Water Street, Suite 201 take care of the maintenance through Saint Paul, MN 55107 establishment. A time line was created 651.665.9500 for this purpose. Lacking knowledge wostlie@greatrivergreening.org about prairie establishment, the managers www.greatrivergreening.org and maintenance company unknowingly allowed the prairie to be over- taken with weedy species. Thus, the prairie needed to be started again. When establishing a naturalized area, a professional with experience in the maintenance needs of restored areas should be retained to properly train staff on what is needed for establishment success. • It became apparent through working on the site that resident’s did not know of nor understand what was being implemented. As a response to this signs and informational flyers were designed and produced to help educate residents of the process. The flyers also help as handouts to potential residents. Great River Greening 35 W. Water Street # 201 restoring the land, Saint Paul, MN 55107 www.greatrivergreening.org 651.665.9500 20 renewing communities
  27. 27. BRAINERD, MN S U S TA I N A B L E LANDSCAPE FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING College Drive Townhouses PROJECT TEAM: SITE DESCRIPTION • Great River Greening • The College Drive The property was Limited Partnership constructed in 1983 on • Crow Wing County the western slope of Extension Service • Crow Wing County the Mississippi River Soil and Water Valley in Brainerd, MN. Conservation District Its location within the river valley meant that FUNDING stormwater running off PARTNERS: the site was picking • The College Drive up pollutants that Limited Partnership • The HomeDepot flowed directly into Foundation the river without any pretreatment. SITE AREA: • three-acre site The College Drive Limited Partnership acquired the property with the intention of renovating the site to create a sustainable living environment PROJECT SCOPE: for the residents. This included retrofitting all existing structures with • 24 low-income units, energy-efficient lighting and mechanical systems, as well as addressing 4 of which are designated for long- the site’s stormwater needs. The units were connected to geothermal term homelessness. heating and cooling system as well as remodeled with sustainable products. SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES: OBJECTIVES • Turf Reduction • Bioretention • Reduce impacts of stormwater run-off on the local municipality and • Native Plantings the Mississippi River. - Create spaces for stormwater to slow down and infiltrate COSTS: - Create vegetated overflow areas that continue to filter water • Installation before entering the municipal stormwater system $19,000 • Plant native vegetation and limit the amount of turf grass to active use • Yearly Maintenance After Establishment areas to enhance infiltration and reduce long-term maintenance. $1,500 (approx.) • Use a native plant palette suitable to the site’s demands and location within an urban area. • Remove invasive plant species and replace where appropriate with a comparable alternative. 21
  28. 28. DESIGN CHALLENGES Project partners walked the site and discussed • Sandy Soils goals, expectations, and concerns. A The existing sandy soils on the site made preliminary concept plan was drawn up it difficult to maintain a healthy turf grass and distributed via email for comments and cover. This same soil created a challenge feedback. A final design set was based on to establishing the rain gardens since the feedback. The treatment of stormwater and turf soil drains too efficiently and dries out. conversion was combined to create a unified Adding compost to the soil was required landscape providing both water treatment to hold moisture in the soil for a longer and habitat. The finished design serves as duration for the plants to uptake. a working example in the Brainerd area of a sustainable landscape for larger property • Site Drainage owners. All stormwater from the three parking lots was concentrated through a single outlet The design looks at treating stormwater runoff in each parking lot area. This caused onsite through the use of raingarden networks channelized flow to leave the parking lots. and infiltration swales. Due to the sandy site To address this the inlets were armored soils and their high infiltration rate, the objective with rip-rap and several check dams were was to treat a minimum of a 2.25”, 24 hour installed to slow the water down and allow rainfall event. it to infiltrate. The sandy nature of the soil also posed a • Design budget problem to establishing and maintaining turf The budget for the landscape design was grass. Areas of low use were looked at to be tight so the design was kept simple and converted to prairie. Initial analysis of the site adhered very closely to what The College suggested converting 1/3 of the 3 acre site to Drive Limited Partnership envisioned. The a natural planting. This will cut down on the plant species list was kept simple and for amount of lawn maintenance needed to keep the seeded area it was kept to standarized turf alive in those areas where it is struggling, lists available from native seed vendors. thus reducing carbon emissions, watering, and fertilizing. Currently on the adjacent property uphill there are prairie species growing and thriving. Blue Lobelia Prairie Blazing Star Cardinal Flower Prairie Smoke Great River Greening 35 W. Water Street # 201 restoring the land, Saint Paul, MN 55107 www.greatrivergreening.org 651.665.9500 22 renewing communities
  29. 29. PROJECT SITE PLAN North Rain Gardens Restored Native Plants Rain Gardens Prairie Restoration Prairie Restoration Prairie Restoration Rain Garden r eD Bri g lle an Co L W n Black Eyed Susan Purple Cone Flower Ferns Butterflyweed Great River Greening 35 W. Water Street # 201 restoring the land, Saint Paul, MN 55107 www.greatrivergreening.org 651.665.9500 23 renewing communities
  30. 30. • Landscape Contractors When collecting bids for the installation CONTACT INFORMATION of the landscape improvements from Great River Greening traditional landscape contractors, bids Wayne Ostlie - Conservation Director came in with extras not needed for 35 West Water Street, Suite 201 native plant establishment. These extras Saint Paul, MN 55107 included the application of fertilzer to all 651.665.9500 installed plants and seeded areas. Also wostlie@greatrivergreening.org included in bids was the addition of two www.greatrivergreening.org inches of topsoil to all seeded areas. These nonessential items and services required educating the contractors of what was needed with a native plant installation and having bids resubmitted. LESSONS LEARNED • Include in the design all standard procedures for proper installation and maintenace as would be completed by a native restoration company. Great River Greening 35 W. Water Street # 201 restoring the land, Saint Paul, MN 55107 www.greatrivergreening.org 651.665.9500 24 renewing communities
  31. 31. OTHER PUBLICATIONS Shaw, Dan, and Rusty Schmidt. Plants for Stormwater Shaw, Dan. Designing with Minnesota Native Plants: Design: Species Selection for the Upper Midwest. Strategies for Project Success. Great River Greening, St. Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, St. Paul, MN. 2003. Paul, MN. 2005. Shaw, Dan, and Rusty Schmidt. Plants for Stormwater Design Volume II: Species Selection for the Upper Midwest. Great River Greening, St. Paul, MN. 2007. Great River Greening 35 W. Water Street # 201 restoring the land, Saint Paul, MN 55107 www.greatrivergreening.org 651.665.9500 25 renewing communities
  32. 32. OTHER RESOURCES Publications and Websites American Society of Landscape Architects. Managing Stormwater: Best Management The Sustainable Sites Initative: Guidelines and Practices Performance Benchmarks: Draft 2008. www.greenworks.tv/stormwater/videotopics.htm Attarian, Janet L. The Chicago Green Alley Minnesota Shoreland Management Resource Handbook. Chicago Dept of Transportation. Guide www.shorelandmanagement.org Blue Thumb – Planting for Clean Water Minnesota Water Let’s Keep It Clean www.bluethumb.org http://www.cleanwatermn.org/ Center for Watershed Protection NRDC. Stormwater Strategies chapter 12: Low Impact www.cwp.org Development. August 2001. www.nrdc.org/water/pollution/storm/chap12.asp City of Burnsville Rainwater Gardens www.co.monroe.in.us/stormwaterquality/Documents/ BurnsvilleMN_raingardencase.pdf Saint Paul Riverfront Corporation. Water Quality Manual: Improving the Water Quality of the Mississippi River in www.ci.burnsville.mn.us/index.asp?NID=594 Saint Paul. 2007 www.lid-stormwater.net www.ci.burnsville.mn.us/DocumentView.asp?DID=448 Schmidt, Rusty, Dan Shaw, and David Dods. The Blue City of Maplewood Rainwater Gardens Thumb Guide to Raingardens. WaterDrop Innovations, www.ci.maplewood.mn.us/index.asp?Type=B_ LLC. 2007. BASIC&SEC={F2C03470-D6B5-4572-98F0- F79819643C2A} State of Minnesota Stormwater Manual www.pca.state.mn.us/water/stormwater/stormwater-manual.html EPA Watershed Home Page www.epa.gov/owow/watershed Stormwater Practices for Cold Climates www.cwp.org/cold-climates.htm Green Values – Stormwater Calculator http://greenvalues.cnt.org/calculator Thompson, J. William and Kim Sorvig. Sustainable Landscape Construction. Island Press, Wahsington DC, Green Values – Stormwater Toolbox 2000. http://greenvalues.cnt.org/ University of Minnesota Extension Low Impact Development Practices for Service Stormwater Management. www.extension.umn.edu www.toolbase.org/technology-inventory/sitework/low- impact-development Urban Small Sites Best Management Practices Manual www.metrocouncil.org/environment/Watershed/BMP/manual.htm Great River Greening 35 W. Water Street # 201 restoring the land, Saint Paul, MN 55107 www.greatrivergreening.org 651.665.9500 26 renewing communities
  33. 33. Water from Trouble to Treasure Watershed Districts http://www.cnt.org/repository/Water_booklet_final.pdf Twin City 7 County Metro Watershed Districts Wild Ones www.for-wild.org Browns Creek Watershed District Phone: 651 275-1136 ext. 26 www.bcwd.org Soil and Water Conservation Districts Capitol Region Watershed District www.capitolregionwd.org Twin City 7 County Metro Conservation Districts Anoka Conservation District Carnelian-Marine St. Croix Watershed District www.anokanaturalresources.com/acd Phone: 651 275-1136 Carver County Soil & Water District www.co.carver.mn.us/departments/LWS/swcd.asp Coon Creek Watershed District www.anokanaturalresources.com/ccwd Dakota County Soil & Water Conservation District www.dakotacountyswcd.org Comfort Lake Forest Lake Watershed District Phone: 651 209-9753 www.clflwd.org Hennepin Conservation District www.hcd.hennepin.mn.us Lower Minnesota River Watershed District Ramsey Conservation District www.watersheddistrict.org www.co.ramsey.mn.us/cd/index.htm Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Scott County Soil & Water Conservation District www.minnehahacreek.org www.scottswcd.org Nine Mile Creek Watershed District Washington Conservation District www.ninemilecreek.org 651-275-1136 www.mnwcd.org Prior Lake-Spring Lake Watershed District www.plslwd.org For Outstate Minnesota Soil and Water Conservation Districts Ramsey Washington Metro Watershed District www.rwmwd.org Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts Rice Creek Watershed District www.maswcd.org www.ricecreek.org Riley Purgatory Bluff Creek Watershed District www.rileypurgatorybluffcreek.org Great River Greening 35 W. Water Street # 201 restoring the land, Saint Paul, MN 55107 www.greatrivergreening.org 651.665.9500 27 renewing communities
  34. 34. South Washington Watershed District Lower Rum Watershed Management Organization www.swwdmn.org www.anokanaturalresources.com/lrrwmo/index.htm Valley Branch Watershed District Middle St. Croix Watershed Management Organization www.vbwd.org 651 275-1136 ext. 22 www.mscwmo.org For Outstate Minnesota Watershed Districts Minnesota Association of Watershed Districts Mississippi Watershed Management Organization www.mnwatershed.org www.mwmo.org North Cannon River Watershed Management Organization Twin City Watershed Management www.dakotacountyswcd.org/watersheds/water-quality/northcannon. Organizations htm Bassett Creek Water Management Organization Pioneer-Sarah Creek Watershed Management www.bassettcreekwmo.org Organization www.pioneersarahcreek.org Black Dog Lake Watershed Management Organization www.dakotacountyswcd.org/watersheds/blackdogwmo/index.htm Richfield-Bloomington Watershed Management Organization Elk River Watershed Management Organization ----- --- Shingle Creek Watershed Management Organization and Grass Lake Watershed Management Organization West Mississippi Watershed management Organization www.ci.shoreview.mn.us/glwmo www.shinglecreek.org Gun Club Lake Watershed Management Organization Six Cities Watershed Management Organization www.dakotacountyswcd.org/watersheds/gunclubwmo/index.htm www.anokanaturalresources.com/scwmo/index.htm Lower Mississippi Watershed Management Organization Sunrise River Watershed Management Organization --- www.anokanaturalresources.com/srwmo/index.htm Lower St. Croix Water Management Organization Upper Rum River Watershed Management Organization Phone: 651 770-8448 www.anokanaturalresources.com/urrwmo/board.htm www.denmarktownship.org/index.asp?Type=B_ BASIC&SEC=%7B560811FD-CEDE-4F99-8AD6- Vadnais Lake Area Watershed Management Organization D002EAB65339%7D www.vlawmo.org Great River Greening 35 W. Water Street # 201 restoring the land, Saint Paul, MN 55107 www.greatrivergreening.org 651.665.9500 28 renewing communities

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